Today was our second day here in San Sal and it produced exactly what we were looking for, a 107 pound wahoo! With calm seas and mostly sunny skies, the weather was perfect again! First bite on the deep rod with a split tail mullet winds up with Sid hooked into a solid wahoo. It made a short screaming run, then had enough. I wired it up to my gaff, joe ran down from the bridge to sink the second gaff in and on the deck she went. Wahoooooooo!!!!
We managed to get two more wahoo, one got Sharked unfortunately and we got half, and also 4 nice dolphins. The action was spread out throughout the day, and there was plenty of life between the birds and fish breaking the surface all day. Extremely fun day of fishing!
The Trade In is all set and ready to go with all the tackle we need for a week of fishing out of VA Beach. We will be on our way tomorrow and hoping the weather allows us to get out fishing Tuesday-Saturday this week. Hopefully the stripers are there in full force along with a bluefin tuna or two to top everything off. I have a few goals of things I want to capture on video from the trip, so hopefully I get the shots and they turn out so I can share them with everyone. We also have plenty of green crab in case we have to break up a slow day with some wreck fishing for tog. I will be posting up daily detailed reports as long as I have a little time, so stay here to stay posted!
With the perfect weather forecast, we decided we had to give it a go one last time offshore for the season on Maureen Klause’s 27′ Contender Trade In. The ride was perfect all of the way to the SW part of the Baltimore. We started our day pot hopping on the troll when we saw some birds packed in tight and there were some explosive splashed under them. I had to speed up the troll to 8 knots to catch up to the school of tunas but once we went through the school we had 3 25 pound class yellowfin tuna on. We managed to put 2/3 in the boat and got back on the troll again immediately. We saw them pop up two more times but by the time we got to them they had sounded again. We worked the area in the blue-green 67.8 degree water for about another 45 minutes and picked up and ran once we were convinced the fish were gone.
We made a 4 mile run down the 100 line until we hit blue 69.5 degree water. We found a set of lobster pot balls and made a few passes. Once we saw there were tons of mahi there, we broke out the spinning rods and started bailing dolphin until we had our fill. Most were small but we managed to get 5 gaffers in the mix. Catching mahi on spinning tackle right under the boat never gets old. We got back up on the troll and switched over to targeting wahoo working our way down to the Poormans Canyon. We had a lull for awhile until we had a blue marlin hammer our shotgun bait (a blue/white 8 ounce Joe Shute with a Baitmasters Select Ballyhoo). It made one half hearted jump to show her size then the hook pulled. I cannot seem to have one stay stuck this year. I have had plenty of shots, but 2013 is the cursed year of the blue marlin for me. Oh well, we had a lot of fun today. The addition of a blue marlin release would have been great, but it was a beautiful day on the Atlantic Ocean.
We had Todd’s group that fished with us on Boss Lady quite often to change his trip date to an overnighter last night, and WOW, did it pay off. The fishing was nothing short of EPIC! We left Avalon around noon and made our way to the NE Corner of the Washington Canyon where the tuna fishing has been hot for yellowfin tuna and BigEyes for well over a week. The weather could not have been more perfect and the 100 mile ride was flat as could be. We made it to our destination and got on the troll around 4:30. Bill was marking tunas under the pilot whales thick, but we could not get a bite on the troll at all, and it was getting frustrating. I dropped down a planer but that was unsuccessful as well.
30 minutes before dark we decided to stop and drop down some jigs on the tunas heads. BAM! Game on. We were hooked into a BigEye which Ben fought for an hour and 20 minutes while the rest of the guys were bailing yellowfin tuna on jigs. Ben beat the fish and it came up for an easy gaff shot. In the boat came the monster 200# BigEye which is Ben’s first tuna ever! The action was nonstop all night on jigs and freefloating chunks. Bob, Todd, Andy, Bill, and Ben jigged away all night whacking one yellowfin tuna after another. All of the yellowfin ranged from 15-40 lbs.
After catching over 50 tuna, and obviously we had a limit of fish in the box, everyone started to wind down. Andy was still jigging so I wanted to join into the fun and went to the rail with my favorite spinning outfit for jigging. After 10 minutes of jigging, and watching Andy catch and release 3 yellowfin, I finally got my bite, BIGEYE on. The reel screamed off line! We woke up Bill May since we knew we were gonna have to chase this one. After an amazing team effort, and 1 hour and 45 minutes of pulling on this tuna, we landed another BigEye on a jig. Absolutely INCREDIBLE. Nonstop action all night with an awesome group of guys and flat calm seas. It doesn’t get any better.
Well from what I have been hearing there are a few big Bluefin tuna being caught out of Oregon Inlet, NC and I know a few people gearing up to go cure their fishing itch. I have been preparing for two major trips I have coming up. I will be fishing for billfish out of Los Suenos, Costa Rica on a quick trip March 13-17 and then I will be mating on the Over Under with Captain Joe Trainor in the Bahamas from March 24th until May 10th. We will be targeting billfish and dredge fishing most of the time, but there will also be plenty of dolphin and wahoo caught. It would be nice to get a tuna on the deck for fresh sashimi, but Joe said the sharks are a major problem and rarely do they get a tuna to the boat. It sounds like it is gonna be interesting to say the least.
When I return I will be hopping straight into the snag and drop in Northern NJ searching for a record striped bass with lady angler Maureen Klause. We are gonna keep our options open throughout March and June since there are a lot of great fisheries that overlap such as the striped bass bite, black drum (which has been slow the past two years), Mako and Blue Shark, and of course yellowfin tuna on the troll in our canyons. Last year we had some early season eddies which had me fishing offshore in early May. Hopefully when I get home that will be happening, because there is nothing like offshore fishing!
I hope everyone has their tackle ready to go, reels greased, rigs tied because the 2013 season here in the Mid Atlantic is about to get started. Be ready in the DE Bay and get your clams reserved because the striper bite should bust wide open for the March 27th Full Moon!
Be sure to follow my page this year for no BS fishing reports from the Bahamas to the Mid Atlantic Waters.
Also, SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/captainrickywheeler. I will be posting a lot of videos and making some fishing webisodes that will be worth watching along with some “How To” videos.
Unfortunately we were blown out yesterday due to a small craft advisory warning, but we were back at it today. We focused on targeting a bluefin tuna today since there have been a few hooked up each day here in VA Beach. The tuna have been weighing in around 200 lbs, so we wanted to see if we could be one of the lucky few to get the bite. We left the dock at 7:20 am with light East wind and partly cloudy skies. There was a fleet of boats around Cape Henry so we decided to stop and try for a striper for an hour. There was plenty of bait, but no bites. We picked up and ran out towards the Light Tower right around where we stopped on Wednesday and caught our fish. The birds, bait and stripers were there again and we caught 7 stripers pretty fast trolling Mojos at 4.5 knots. The stripers were aggressive, and were eating mostly chartreuse until the sun went behing the clouds, then the majority of our bites came on white.
We kept pounding it out hoping for a bluefin tuna bite. A boat near us ended up hooking up into a bluefin, but broke it off after and hour and a half. We keep getting bit by stripers, and the sounder was lit up with bunker and striped bass all day as the birds kept telling us where the stripers were all day. We ended up catching and releasing 27 stripers, 2 of which weighed in at over 42 lbs on the Boga Grip. We had a blast, but unfortunately we didn’t get our tuna bite. We did hear that some boats found stripers inside of 3 miles for the first time in weeks.
We will be putting the Trade In back on the trailer and dropping her off in NC tomorrow, then back to NJ tomorrow night. Overall, we had a great trip, and we were stoked we came down to VA Beach to do some fishing.